Joan Mir makes Suzuki MotoGP Debut

Following a positive conclusion to the 2018 season which saw Alex Rins achieve another podium and 5th in the championship, the team remained at Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia for the first test of 2019. 

For MotoGP rookie Joan Mir it was the opportunity to confirm his first feeling and to start working onto his GSX-RR. The former Moto3 champion had to wait for a few hours in the morning while the track was damp, but he was able to ride for the majority of the afternoon, completing an impressive amount of laps: 59. Thrilled with the chance to finally get on track, the Mallorcan did a great job and finished the day in 15th place, 1.371s from the top. 

Meanwhile, Alex Rins was feeling good but was frustrated with the lack of track time due to chilly temperatures in the morning and rain in the afternoon, which interrupted his plans. However, he was still able to try different settings and adjustments. He closed the session in 12th place, 0.986s down. 

Davide Brivio - Team Manager 
“It’s been a good day but it could have been better because the rain arrived. Alex wasn’t able to complete his plan to test the new engine, so we hope it will be dry tomorrow so that we can do it then. We still tried some things, which of course is always useful, but we lost a lot of time in the morning due to the conditions. It’s been positive for Joan, he was able to do a lot of laps in the afternoon before the rain, he is learning, understanding, and adjusting. Everything is on schedule with him. He really enjoyed riding and that’s always a good way to start.”

Alex Rins 
“Today was a bit of a shame, because at the beginning we could do some positive work, but when we were ready to go with the new engine the rain arrived and we had to give up. We were still able to put in some laps and try some small things, but we haven’t really tried anything major yet. The grip level was quite low so riding wasn’t easy today, we hope tomorrow will be drier and we can fit more laps in. I have a lot more experience now and this gives me bigger confidence to help develop the bike, we have a lot of confidence in each other when it comes to preparing for next season. Joan has a lot of potential and we’ll see how he continues, he did a great job today.” 

Joan Mir 
“My feeling was really good. It’s my first real day as a MotoGP rider, and my first day in Suzuki colours and I’m super happy. I have a great crew around me and I feel comfortable with them and also quite comfortable with the bike, so that’s important. It’s a big challenge to adapt from Moto2 to MotoGP. Compared with Moto2, you spend a lot more time braking, and you must brake very hard. And, of course, the acceleration is much more powerful. Electronics will be one of the things that will require more efforts to learn. It’s only the first day, but I’ve already found it useful to compare info with Alex. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” 

VALENCIA WINTER TEST - Classification: 
1. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha Factory Racing 1'31.416 
2. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’31.718 0.302 / 0.302 
3. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing 1’31.845 0.429 / 0.127 
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’31.846 0.430 / 0.001 
5. Stefan BRADL LCR Honda 1’32.015 0.599 / 0.169 
6. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’32.085 0.669 / 0.070 
7. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’32.095 0.679 / 0.010 
8. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 1’32.100 0.684 / 0.005 
9. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’32.179 0.763 / 0.079 
10. Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 1’32.220 0.804 / 0.041 
11. Francesco BAGNAIA Alma Pramac Racing 1’32.396 0.980 / 0.176 
12. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’32.402 0.986 / 0.006 
13. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’32.539 1.123 / 0.137 
14. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’32.555 1.139 / 0.016 
15. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’32.787 1.371 / 0.232 
16. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’32.834 1.418 / 0.047 
17. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’32.835 1.419 / 0.001 
18. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 1’32.959 1.543 / 0.124 
19. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’33.291 1.875 / 0.332 
20. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 1’33.301 1.885 / 0.010 
21. Bradley SMITH Aprilia Racing Test Team 1’33.709 2.293 / 0.408 
22. Jonas FOLGER Yamaha Test Team 1’33.810 2.394 / 0.101 
23. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’33.850 2.434 / 0.040 
24. Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM Tech 3 Racing 1’34.233 2.817 / 0.383 
25. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM Tech 3 Racing 1’35.118 3.702 / 0.885

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